I am delighted to be here this morning for the inauguration of the District Court for the people of Sowutuom and the entire Ga Central Municipality. I thank you all distinguished personalities, for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us in this brief but memorable ceremony.
In accordance with Section 10, (3) (g) of the Local Governance Act, 1993 (Act 462), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are responsible for the assurance of “ready access to Courts in the district for the promotion of justice”. This clearly, calls for the provision of courthouses to satisfy the justice needs of each district, as well as suitable residential accommodation for Magistrates/Judges.
The Ga Central Assembly therefore deserves commendation for providing this courthouse; made up of a Court Room, Chambers and offices for the Recorder, Registrar, Cashier and Bailiff, and washrooms for staff and court users. I am glad to note also, that there is a cell provided for the court, not forgetting the decent residential accommodation provided for the Magistrate who will be in charge of this court.
The Judicial Service of Ghana, as part of its extensive medium to long term reforms, has made significant efforts at addressing the challenges which impede effective justice delivery. This necessitated the closure of a number of courts, particularly in the Greater Accra region, to ensure that courthouses are built and or given the necessary facelift to create a conducive working environment for court business.
The Judicial Service of Ghana will continue to remind the MMDAs of their obligation to ensure that all who seek justice and or administer justice at the district level are not denied their constitutional right of having a befitting environment to cater for their justice needs.
The significance of today’s inauguration lies in the fact, that it is a step further to ensuring that justice can, and will be accessed, at the doorstep of citizens in and around Sowutuom. This building symbolizes the rule of law, and as such, the sitting Magistrate is expected to dispense justice without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
I am equally happy to know that provision has been made in this courthouse to offer ADR services to the people of Ga Central, covering close to ten communities including Sowutuom, Awoshie, Anyaa, Ablekuma, Santa Maria, Nii Okaiman West, Nii Okaiman East, Kwashiebu and Lomnava.
I urge members of the public/litigants and the Bar to fully patronize the Court Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (CCADR) Programme. There is no denying the fact that ADR has proven to be speedy, cheaper and less laborious, as compared to the formal adversarial traditional court system.
To the Magistrate and court officials, I entreat you to exhibit a high sense of professionalism. And to the public, never hesitate to report any member of the Judiciary or court staff who makes any unlawful demands, in performing his or her judicial duties, for disciplinary action to be taken against that person or group of persons.
Let me end by once again, commending the Ga Central Municipal Assembly, the traditional authorities, as well as all those who worked behind the scenes to make this event a reality.
It is now my pleasure, to declare this courthouse duly inaugurated.
God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong.
Thank you for your attention.